TODAY FROM THAILAND:
A. News, Straight or Slightly Bent:
A fascinating drama is unfolding in BKK over whether there is or was a terrorist threat to tourists.
Based upon Israeli intelligence reports, the US and a number of other countries, as they often do in these cases, issued an advisory to its citizens traveling in the country of a possible terrorist attack at some popular tourist destinations.
Then the Thai police announced they had captured an admitted Hezbollah terrorist and were looking for a supposed accomplice.
This was immediately followed by an announcement by Thai deputy prime minister Cheeky Chalerm, that there was no evidence of terrorists operating in the country and criticized the US for issuing the directive without clearing it first with his government, since it could have an adverse impact on the local tourism industry recently devastated by the epic floods. The Thai military and security services followed with statements that they are on the job and that there were no terrorists in the country despite the weekly bombings by Muslim separatists in the South and the still unresolved “Red” vs “Yellow” shirt antagonism.
This was followed by reports that the alleged terrorist told police authorities that Hezbollah decided to call off the terrorist campaign now that he had been caught, followed by an unverified report that Hezbollah wanted talks with the US about the situation.
Cheeky Chalerm, because his bizarre denial of terrorists operating in the country was ridiculed by almost everyone, was replaced as government spokesperson on the non-terrorist terrorist crisis. He successor then immediately criticized the US for trying to protect its citizens and repeated the claim that there is no terrorist threat in Thailand. In any event the spokesperson added, Thailand’s security services knew about the plot since mid-December but had not acted because the alleged terrorist broke no Thai laws.
This was followed by the announcement by the police of their discovery of a shophouse in which the individual in custody stored large quantities of the type of fertilizer used to make bombs, as well as timers, wires and other bomb making paraphernalia. The man subsequently was charged with not having obtained a permit to possess the bomb making material.
The official government statements that followed (not from the police actually investigating the incident) maintained that the alleged terrorist claimed there was no other terrorist involved and the bomb making equipment was for export and not for use in Thailand. They also renewed their criticism of the US for disrupting the Thai economy, but said that they had no problems with Israel whose security apparatus started it all.
Subsequently, in separate reports in The Nation one of Thailand’s two national English language newspapers, it was revealed that the US notified the Thai minister of foreign affairs 24 hours prior to posting the warning and according to police the suspect, who the government previously had reported was not a terrorist but an innocent go between, admitted driving around Bangkok looking for targets.
In the Bangkok Post a government minister accused the US of being “impolite.”
What’s next? Stay tuned.
B. Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand:
It is getting closer to my departure date. The weather is becoming hotter and the skies overcast. There are reports of unseasonably low temperatures in the North (down to as low as the mid-fifties Fahrenheit) and additional flooding in the South.
Because of the overcast and the chill (temperature down to the low 80’s in BKK) I have avoided swimming and spend my time sweating in the gym.
As I mentioned in my previous post I have begun entering “This and that…” on to a blog. I include the posts and some of the email exchanges that followed them, mostly Irwin’s, those regarding Hayden and those that prompted changes in “This and that…” It will take some time to enter them all. Because of the limitations of the blog format, I have organized them by category on a quarterly basis (Jan 2010 through March 2010, April 2010 through June 2010 and so on.) I have entered January 2012 to date posts and January through February 2010. The link is: https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.
A. Chapter 1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).
About two weeks after my almost mystical encounter with John Olmsted in the shadow of the TransAmerica pyramid, I found myself traveling to Mendocino and Jughandle Creek with my friend Jeanne McMahon. I was intrigued and smelled the beginnings of an adventure; if strolling among flesh eating plants and stunted trees with a tall skinny obsessed hippy could be considered as having the makings of an adventure.
I do not remember how we got there. I did not have a car at that time and neither did Jeanne. I guess we hitch-hiked which was the preferred mode of travel for those of us eager to join the counter culture (you know “On the Road” and all that).
Jeanne was a freckled faced, relentlessly positive young woman from Dubuque Iowa who, in late sixties, like many others had left the mid-West farm belt to join the nation wide migration of those eager to experience “what’s happening” in California. She walked with a spring in her step, her face resolutely pressed forward toward whatever new experiences life she was sure would lay at her feet.
A few years later, she decided to go to medical school to become a doctor. She went back to school to acquire the proper science credits. She was successful and was admitted to medical school. To celebrate, she and a companion decided to go camping and hiking for a few days in the Trinity Alps a few miles north of Mendocino, an activity she loved.
While hiking, she slipped and fell off a cliff, her friend ran to find help but was not able to bring it back in time. Jeanne died alone and in pain as most of us ultimately must. Her friend and I accompanied her body back to Dubuque for burial. Two weeks later he drowned while swimming.
But that was then in the future and is now in the past. Then we were off on our adventure blissfully and thankfully ignorant of our futures (John himself died a few months ago after a long illness).
John lived in a little cabin in the redwoods alongside Jughandle Creek. A sign was affixed to the cabin that announced “The Jughandle Creek Conservancy.” Inside, John and a friend had just returned from mushroom hunting and had laid on the table before them an incredible collection of dirt encrusted bizarrely shaped fungi that they both were obviously enthralled with. They invited Jeanne and I to join them in sampling their earthy delights. We declined.
After a while we unrolled our sleeping bags on the porch outside and slept soundly lulled to sleepy the rustle of the wind through the redwoods and the periodic hoot of an owl on the hunt nearby.
(To be continued)
B. Postscript: Monty.
Interestingly, I do not remember the circumstances that first brought me into contact with Monty. It had been about seven or eight years since I left public service and resumed my career as a private lawyer for hire. I was a partner in a large firm and was extremely well compensated for representing the corrupt and venal, mostly before the corrupt and venial organization that the California Coastal Commission had become primarily because its director was corrupt owing to the fact that he could not comprehend how truly venal he really was.
Anyway, Monty had sought a permit from the Coastal Commission to develop what originally was to be a large recreational oriented subdivision on about 1800 acres that he owned on the coast in San Luis Obispo County. He was having great difficulty persuading the Commission staff to recommend to the Commissioners approval of his designs despite having scaled them back several times. I was called in to see if I could help him out.
Let me begin by introducing you to Monty; at least as I saw him. Most if not all I learned about Monty’s life before I met him, I learned from Monty himself. Of Irish heritage, he reveled in the Irish passion for story telling and was good at it.
He was a kid off the NY streets. At that time, NY was a center of the horse racing business. Monty’s family worked at the local tracks as trainers and what have you. Monty spent most of his early years around race horses, those who were in the racing business and gamblers.
During his mid-teens he decided to become a prize fighter. He was a middle weight and amassed a notable record in the course of his professional career. Before he was 21 years old he had won over 40 bouts while losing only four. This was all the more of an impressive record when one realizes that he fought during boxings golden years when the middle weight devision had some of the greatest boxers that ever lived. Monty was smart, had great hand speed, could take a punch and never, never gave up. He could have been a contender. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when in a street fight someone plunged a knife into his eye.
(to be continued)
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
See also: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/
THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:
As you can see, the toilet burrow is a rather large and imposing room as well as it should be. Here, throughout the day the residents not only relieve themselves rub themselves down with it so that, in the dark tunnels, we can distinguish members of the community from intruders by their smell. It also serves as sort of a cantina where we can supplement or diet of tubers. So it is a very important place for us.Sort of like the teachers lounge in a high school.
Well, we are in luck, look who is here, Old George, perhaps I can get him to tell us a story about the Dark Times.
(In our next issue Old George will tell us a tale about the “Dark Times.”)
B. H. Glaber fellow travelers:
The “They Call me Lucky” band. According to Peter G. a member of the band, “You will be pleased to know that for tonight’s ‘They Call Me Lucky’ band gig, Dennis named the set list, ‘Lucky Naked Mole Rat New Year’. A tunnel is reaching out to the Outer Richmond.”
H. Glaber says, check it out.
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
Alas, once again I must put off the next installment of RED STAR. On the other hand, I guess, for a mystery or a thriller any additional suspense is a good thing. Some regrettably we leave Meg, having just murdered a potential witness for the crimes she was investigating because he called her a dyke, climbing the at Devils Slide, while Vince, in Isabella’s apartment removes the briefs that he shit into in panic during the assassination attempt on his life. Stay tuned.
1940: From Strange Victory and from William Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic, one can track the French reaction to the Nazi attack across the Meuse starting on May 10, 1940.
“The first thing to note is that the Nazi lead elements took up to 70% casualties and kept coming–indicative of extraordinary ideological commitment. In a world in which any “normal” unit breaks at 25% casualties or so, it’s hard to beat people who keep coming at you: you can only hope that the enemy doesn’t have that many of them. Had the Nazi soldiers been “normal,” the initial attack by the seven panzer divisions would probably have failed, and the French would have had time to redeploy.”
for those interested in a great brief discussion about the fall of France in 1940 see: ttp://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/01/hoisted-from-the-archives-defending-cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys-blogging.html
2012: Anti-crime group SOS Impresa has released a report that calls the mafia “Italy’s number one bank”.
The report argues that the ability to exploit the financial crisis has lead to criminal groups earning a turnover of 140 billion euros ($179 billion), more than 100 billion euros ($127 billion) in profit, and more than 65 million euros ($83 million) in liquidity.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mafia-bank-italy-2012-1#ixzz1j7BhAYPS
1983: 90% of all Major Media Outlets in the US (t.v. news, major movie studios, radio news, print news, etc.) were owned by 50 different companies. TODAY, that same 90% of the Media is owned by … ready for this? … just “6” different corporations. Those corporations are: GE, News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch), Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.
“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”:
Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
1. Santorum says:
“…If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”
Rick Santorum- Associated Press, April 23, 2003
(Sounds good to me.)
2. Of course it is not racist:
I have noticed the racist right wing propaganda machine appears to have temporarily halted sending through the mails photographs of chimpanzees or orangutans with Michelle Obama’s face superimposed. They now send pictures of Ms Obama informing us that as First Lady she stays in expensive hotels and is protected by elaborate and costly security, failing to mention that every white first lady before her did the same. I guess, they believe that she should still be sitting at the back of the bus.
“Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. … Our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
— Adolf Hitler, 1939
In case we forget, two or three times as many Poles were exterminated by the Nazi ethnic cleansing machine during WWII than Jews. But then there were a lot more Poles to get rid of.